Monday, September 12, 2016
"It's better," said an animal lover to me, "To be a week early than a day late."
I knew what she meant, but dear gawd, how terribly tough it is to take a life, a breathing, beautiful life, having made The Decision.
And the day of it? It was good. It was peaceful, she didn't suffer, I held her to the other side. And after too. And by gum, didn't she eat two cookies before the sedative, the pre-fatal shot that's given, and I laughed through my tears, because, you know, our family is known as "good grubbers" and darling Ansa was one of us right to the end. Faced with the vet's (gawd she always hated the vet) and the peculiar, weepy behaviour of her human companions, she eats cookies of a kind she would normally turn her nose up at.
What's overwhelming me completely is the incredible love and support I've been given through Facebook and messages and telephone calls and hugs and emails and even casseroles dropped off.
Ansa was adored by many. She had a magical way with her, a sense of humour, a dog who loved to be cuddled even though she was a large dog, a border collie mix. In a gathering she would place her bum firmly on my foot and then engage with the crowd, grinning at each individual in turn. When I left the car to run an errand she would immediately transfer herself to the driver's seat and sit there looking straight ahead until I returned. On the job, I called it. I don't know how many times I returned to the car to find strangers photographing her for she would never turn her head and appeared, to all intents and purposes, as if she were the driver.
When we drove long distances, and we shared many long haul trips, she would jump into the passenger seat for a time and hold out her left paw and we would hold hands for an hour or two along a lonely, endless stretch of highway.
For fun, she would herd me up to the Tigeen, nudging me in the behind, dancing around me, I swore I could hear her laugh on these occasions, her joy was so palpable as I played along, dodging off the path only to be herded back on to it again.
I can't begin to tell you about this dreadful sense of loss that overwhelms me when I am alone in this quiet house. I've been kept occupied by friends and family but tonight I'm home alone and I'm lost without the sound of her feet, the breath of her, the head beside my thigh, the time for a cookie or a rub, or conversation. I stop when I realize I'm talking to myself now. I remember. And I cry.
There's not a trace of her here, not a blanket nor leash, not a dish, not her beds or her cookies or special water fountain.
Now it's the complete absence of her glorious spirit that does my head in.
I didn't expect that.
I thought there would at least be her ghost.